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Today's Stichomancy for Jon Stewart

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Oakdale Affair by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

would be cowardly."

The girl did not reply; but that the man's words had impressed her seemed evident. For a while each was occupied with his own thoughts; which were presently disturbed by the sound of footsteps upon the floor be- low--the muffled scraping of many feet followed a mo- ment later by an exclamation and an oath, the words coming distinctly through the loose and splintered floor- ing.

"Pipe the stiff," exclaimed a voice which The Oska- loosa Kid recognized immediately as that of Soup Face.


The Oakdale Affair
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy:

His greeting had been somewhat dry and thunderous, and Elizabeth-Jane, embarrassed out of her equanimity, stammered at random, "This is the lady I live with, father--Miss Templeman."

Henchard put his hand to his hat, which he brought down with a great wave till it met his body at the knee. Miss Templeman bowed. "I am happy to become acquainted with you, Mr. Henchard," she said. "This is a curious machine."

"Yes," Henchard replied; and he proceeded to explain it, and still more forcibly to ridicule it.

"Who brought it here?" said Lucetta.


The Mayor of Casterbridge
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey:

come to beg her to take me back. Now I don't know you; but I know--what you are. So I've this to say to your face. It would never occur to this woman to imagine--let alone suspect me to be a spy. She couldn't think it might just be a low plot to come here and shoot you in the back. Jane Withersteen hasn't that kind of a mind....Well, I've not come for that. I want to help her--to pull a bridle along with Judkins and--and you. The thing is--do you believe me?"

"I reckon I do," replied Lassiter. How this slow, cool speech contrasted with Blake's hot, impulsive words! "You might have saved some of your breath. See here, Blake, cinch this in your


Riders of the Purple Sage
The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Ball at Sceaux by Honore de Balzac:

young girl's infant passion so effectually as an obstacle, there was a time when Mademoiselle de Fontaine was on the point of giving up her strange and secret search, almost despairing of the success of an enterprise whose singularity may give some idea of the boldness of her temper. In point of fact, she might have wandered long about the village of Chatenay without meeting her Unknown. The fair Clara--since that was the name Emilie had overheard--was not English, and the stranger who escorted her did not dwell among the flowery and fragrant bowers of Chatenay.

One evening Emilie, out riding with her uncle, who, during the fine weather, had gained a fairly long truce from the gout, met Lady